UA-76843172-1

Turn on the faucet

I was recently getting a drink of water from a fountain on campus, when an overflowing trash can nearby caught my eye.

Although it wasn‘t out of the ordinary, the feature that drew my attention to it was its content of numerous plastic water bottles.

As my day progressed. I couldn’t help feeling as though these plastic water bottles were following me, whether being consumed in the classroom, lying on a podium, or traveling in a backpack compartment.

The truth is that over consumption of bottled water exists heavily throughout all of America, and not just on the Millersville campus. We have succumbed to its promising advertisements of cleanliness, as well as the convenience it offers by being readily available for those on the go.

The United States in an on-the-go society, but this doesn’t mean that we must be wasteful as well.

According to How Stuff Works, 90 percent of plastic water bottles end up in the trash, such as the one on campus, or as litter. It can take up to a thousand years for these bottles to biodegrade.

The incineration process that is used to dispose of plastic bottles creates toxic gases, such as chlorine gas and ash, that pollute the air. The burning of these bottles is also contributing to global warming.

As if the disposing process is not enough, millions of barrels of oil are used to create plastic bottles, as well as transport them from all over the world.

According to the Earth Policy Institute, the fuel that is used to create the plastic that goes into creating bottled water is 1.5 billion gallons of oil. This valuable resource being wasted on unnecessary bottling is equivalent to the amount of fuel it takes to run 100,000 cars for a year.

Consumers choose bottled water over tap because of its wholesome reputation. Do not let the enticing commercials fool you. Bottled water is not guaranteed to be purer than the water flowing from your tap at home. In fact, bottled water requires FDA  guidelines that are based upon EPA standards set for tap water.

We are often hoodwinked into believing that our bottled water is derived from an exotic paradise or crystal clear mountain spring. The alluring mountainside graphic that appears on our beloved plastic bottle has been placed there to mislead us. Aquafina’s logo is guilty of this depiction.

This drives many to believe what they are drinking is natural spring water, an assumption that couldn’t be more wrong.

Aquafina, which is manufactured by Pepsi, just recently added a new feature to its label. In response to the growing concerns involving the bottled water industry, as well as the “Think Outside of the Bottle” campaign, the company will be including the words “public water source” on their label.

Once happy to lead consumers to believe their product was originating from a mountainside spring, action is now being taken to make its true source, the tap, well known. Why should we pay double the amount for the same resource that is already available to us?

It is regrettable that the bottled water business is booming when America has one of the cleanest public water systems in the world, and that reach nearly every home.

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans spent over $15 billion on bottled water in 2006, a statistic that has been increasing.

Water is a natural resource that is a human right that shoul not be fluffed and sold for profit. I will no longer contribute to this number.

Opting for the use of bottled water containers and pitchers, investing in home and traveling water purifiers can eliminate unneeded strain on the earth, as well as save money over time.

Like many other Americans who have become outraged by the unnecessary waste bottled water consumption has produced, I will resort to more economic and earth-friendly alternatives.

The EPA guidelines for disinfection and parasite detection of tap water have been undermined for far too long.